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Versatile race-car driver John Andretti dies at 56 from colon cancer

Andretti was a member of one of the world’s most famous racing families

John Andretti, driver of the #34 Taco Bell Chevrolet, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway on June 19, 2009 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
John Andretti, driver of the #34 Taco Bell Chevrolet, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway on June 19, 2009 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for NASCAR) (2009 Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – Former race-car driver John Andretti has died at the age of 56 after battling colon cancer.

His death was announced by the IndyCar team Andretti Autosport owned by his cousin, Michael.

Andretti was a member of one of the world’s most famous racing families.

Mario and Michael Andretti have been longtime fan favorites in the IndyCar Series and beyond.

Mario Andretti is John’s uncle.

John Andretti carved out his own niche by becoming the first driver to attempt running the Indianapolis 500 and Charlotte’s 600-mile NASCAR race on the same day.

Martinsville Speedway issued the following statement following Andretti’s death